This film starts big. In point of fact this film starts awfully damned big. In fact if you thought you were going to have to wait for through turgid plot material for your your howling, crashing, trampling, exploding laser firing, more exploding, men with submachine guns firing at giant monsters as a sop to the US bloody massacre lobby, you’d be completely wrong; the shit starts splattering the walls at floor-shaking volume, from the first frame. It is quite disconcerting. One minute you’re sitting in a quiet cinema The next you are in a burning nightmare of rubblerubble that used to be a city. A woman and her daughter are screaming, barely audible in the armageddon that surrounds them. A man calls. He is worried about them. He is either near or far. Neither word really means anything in this jumbled nightmare jumble. You have no idea which city this was, or who these people are. How are you supposed to care for them? They are simply human, you care or you don’t, depending on the kind of person you are. It is a manipulative trick, but it works. All my rational mind could come up with was to wibble ”bags not having to clean up this mess.” That I was immediately ashamed of the thought made me realise that this was was called “a good, strong, opening.”
There was no respite. Even though rather less is actually happening, the melodrama and overacting ratchets up several notches, to the red mark on the main gear wheel. Characters too poorly defined to be seen as more than different haircuts, shouted barely comprehensible twaddle at each other before a shock cut to another haircut shouting more twaddle or to something whizzing by, or whizzing by and crashing and blowing up. Then the tension ratchets up another notch and another.
Goddam huge creatures vaguely recognisable from the Toho Godzilla films start doing goddam huge monster activities exactly wherever they bloody well feel like it. Their activities are increasingly exuberant and acrobatic, except in the case of Mothra, whose activities are acromothic. “Bat” stuff is largely the bailiwick of King Gidorah, who as we all learned at school, has bat wings, legs like a piano, three tails and three heads at the end of three long wriggly snake-like necks.
At one point a giant monster bursts out of an erupting volcano. The local villagers are dubious about this and even more dubious about the small print in their insurance contracts. By the time this happens the film has been going slightly over an hour and has achieved volume levels roughly equivalent to a squadron of F1-11s taking off on afterburners – then King Gidorah stood up, extended his wings, screamed and shot lightning into the sky from his wing joints. I was totally rapt. I punched the air in the cinema and yelled “YEAH!” I haven’t done anything like that in the movies for about the last forty-five years. I was rather surprised at myself. Right then and there in the destruction, I decided that I was definitely seeing “Godzilla II: King of the Monsters” again, soon, with friends and most likely stoned. Its that kind of film.
Copyright(c) Alex Rieneck, 2019All Rights Reserved